Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holiday Gift: Plate of Cookies

One of  the many morsels of motherly wisdom that my mother taught me over the years was how to create an impressive plate of cookies to give to family and friends at Christmas time.  I always looked forward to this holiday tradition as a child and am now continuing it with my children.

My mother taught me that a great cookie plate takes planning.  We started right after Thanksgiving thinking about our holiday treats.  We would ask my father what he wanted (always Russian Tea Cakes and Sugar Cookies), browse through December issues of magazines for new ideas, and search through our recipe box for old favorites.  After deciding on a variety of sweets that included different shapes, flavors, textures, and colors, we wrote all the names of the cookies on a steno pad.  We then created a list of necessary ingredients, purchased these supplies over a few trips to the grocery store, and set aside a day or two of baking.

As an only child I was my mother's chief baking assistant.  Once the cooking began, our biggest challenge was making sure my dad didn't eat all of our fresh-from-the-oven delicacies.  As a batch of cookies was completed, we stored it in one of our holiday tins.  We lined these containers with wax paper and placed them  in our dining room which was the coldest room in the house.  A day or two before Christmas, we would open up all the tins and place a sampling of home baked cookies on each plate.  After wrapping the plates with plastic wrap and adorning them with a bow, we would deliver them to our neighbors and family members.  Whatever cookies remained were placed in a tin to offer at my grandmother's on Christmas day.

This tradition of sharing holiday baking is one that I am passing on to my children.  For Christmas 2010 we included lots of tried-and-true family favorites along with some new recipes.  We completed our cookie baking today and will deliver full plates tomorrow.  The cookie tins have been replaced with plastic containers, my cookie gifts are being delivered in a neighborhood in Texas instead of a rural town in Maryland, and I am now the mother instead of the child, but the tradition of giving plates of cookies for Christmas is the same.  Merry Christmas!

Christmas Cookies 2010


  1. Your cookies look yummy. I really want to try the oreo balls.

  2. Your mama taught you well! What a pretty plate Heidi. Merry Christmas!

  3. The plates look awesome! Great looking cookies!

  4. Hi Heidi,

    I've already done my baking for this year to give to friends & neighbors. But I just might have to "steal" some of your recipes and add them to my plate of goodies next year. Thanks for sharing.

    Merry Christmas,

  5. That's such a sweet idea, sharing Christmas plates with your neighbors. I've always put together cookie tins & baskets for all the mailman, trash collectors, crossing guards, etc., but not the neighbors. I think I will next year.

    Your plates look delish.

  6. Hi there! I'm visiting from HH's Christmas in July blog party ;)

    Wow, everything looks delicious...especially the brownie candy cane bites! What a sweet neighbor you are :) I think I may need to move into your neighborhood, lol.

  7. Wow that looks like some work! And it looks amazing. We do this too, think I am going to add some of your recipes to my list though. Wonderful post, thanks for adding it to the Christmas in July party, you are helping me plan Christmas already!

  8. There are more that didn't make it onto last years list!? I have had my eye on those brownie candy cane bites for some time. This is wonderful. Thanks and sharing!